EAST LANSING – Most of the athletic matchups between the two Big Ten schools in the state of Michigan have been fierce battles for who will gain bragging rights.
But swimming has been a noteable exception.
The Michigan’s men’s swimming and diving team (1-0 Big Ten, 3-0 overall) went to East Lansing this weekend to meet up with its cross-state foe, Michigan State (0-2, 0-4), at Charles McCaffree Pool.
Michigan had won the last 26 meets between the teams. With its win over the Spartans (145-98), Michigan made that number 27.
With such a productive history, the Wolverines were not worried about Saturday’s meet against Michigan State.
The seventh-ranked Wolverines had their way with the Spartans, as they dominated in both diving and swimming.
“This was kind of a causal day for us,” Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said. “We had a chance to advance with a kind of relaxed attitude and it turned out to be a pretty good meet for us.”
Urbanchek had his swimmers compete in events in which they are usually not included.
Even though Michigan slotted its swimmers in different events, the Wolverines’ strategy did not handicap them during the meet, as they beat the Spartans handily.
“Since we didn’t use our best swimmers in their best events, it’s really hard to judge how well they swam because we had nothing to judge it by,” Urbanchek said. “So that was a really good low-key off-pressure meet, and everyone had a chance to swim events they usual don’t swim.”
Although usually being a distance swimmer, sophomore Nick Douville had an excellent meet, winning the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:55.8. Douville also came in a close second in the 500-yard freestyle.
Sophomore Zayd Ma also contributed to the team effort with a win in the 200-yard butterfly. Ma normally competes in distance and butterfly.
Coming off a wonderfully successful meet in Florida, freshmen Davis Tarwater and Chris DeJong once again pulled out a great meet with victories in 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay.
Tarwater also came in first in the 100-yard freestyle, and DeJong came in second during the 50-yard freestyle.
The Wolverines had at least two swimmers in the top three spots in 10 of the 11 races.
Although Michigan dominated both the swimming and diving portions of the meet, Michigan State did have a well-fought competition.
Michigan State never gave into Michigan, but the Wolverines were just too strong for the Spartans.
“We made the meet pretty close,” Urbanchek said. “We gave State a chance to win some of the events, which they did. They capitalized on the opportunities.”
Michigan’s next meet is against No. 1 Texas on Nov. 22 and 23. The Wolverines will face the defending national champions in Austin.